SunRISE Challenge II Seeks Solar Innovations

The Fraunhofer TechBridge program, part of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE), is now accepting applications for a second round of the SunRISE TechBridge Challenge.

In partnership with Royal DSM and Greentown Labs, SunRISE TechBridge Challenge II is seeking solutions to increase the performance of solar PV systems, resulting in a lower levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and broader deployment of affordable PV.

The first SunRISE Challenge was conducted in 2016, and five early-stage companies were selected as winners to receive awards for a six-month structured startup acceleration program at Greentown Labs and technical validation services from Fraunhofer CSE, culminating in venturing investments by DSM Venturing in two awardees – QD Solar and WattGlass – and several ongoing collaborations with DSM. Based on the success of the first SunRISE TechBridge Challenge, DSM, Fraunhofer TechBridge and Greentown Labs say they are seeking further innovative solutions that will reduce the LCOE for PV systems.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

– Novel PV cell and module materials;
– Data analytics and/or advanced sensors; and
– “Retrofit” solutions that boost the power output and/or reduce operation and maintenance costs of PV modules already installed in the field.

Winning applicants will be eligible for one or more of the following awards:

– Up to $25,000 in technical validation services from the Fraunhofer R&D network;
– Greentown Launch, a six-month structured acceleration program for solar startups at Greentown Labs, including valuable tools, products, and services;
– Partnership and/or a project with DSM; and
– Venture investment from DSM.

Applicants will be evaluated based on the potential impact of their solution, with a key parameter being LCOE and time to market. Awardees’ intellectual property is fully protected throughout the process. Proposals are due by March 15, and more information is available here.


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